MSU’s 123rd football roster just became a lot clearer. Wednesday, Feb. 5, marked National Signing Day, the day where prep athletes see their dreams of playing college athletics become reality. With the addition of the early signing period in Decemeber, this day became less hectic than in the past. The Cats welcomed eight additions to their 2020 class. To celebrate these recruits and the 21 who signed in the early signing period, MSU hosted a special night at the Rialto featuring head coach Jeff Choate and current Philadelphia Eagles linebacker and former All-American Bobcat Alex Singleton.
Included in Wednesday’s signing group were six high school signees: running back Garrett Coon, the Gatorade Player of the Year in Wyoming, kicker Blake Gessner and long-snapper Tommy Sullivan, both the top ranked at their respective positions in Washington, and three solid California signees: defensive back Devin Davis, running back Minaya Olivo and offensive lineman JT Reed. The class introduced on Wednesday also included two transfers: junior safety Jeffrey Manning Jr. from Oregon State and sophomore wide receiver Tayvian Williams from Laney College.
Choate was excited about this class, saying, “I don't think we've deviated from our DNA. These are each outstanding young men who are great fits for our program. Taken in total, this is a deep and balanced class.”
Some of the highlights of the early signing period included transfer sophomore dual-threat quarterback Matt Mckay from North Carolina State, who has already started several games in his young career, punter Bryce Leighton, who was ranked as one of top punters in the country, standout linebacker from Washington Danny Uluilakepa, and many of the top athletes in Montana. Two of the ten Montana commits were Butte quarterback Tommy Mellott, who led the Bulldogs to the AA State Championship game this season, and Melstone defensive lineman Brody Grebe, who returns to his homestate after spending last year at Choate Rosemary Hall prep school in Connecticut.
“I think that we’re recruiting at a very high level,” Choate said, “However you want to rank a class, I believe this one comes out as one of the best in the FCS, and that is because of the three most important elements we have to offer. First, we have a world class place to live. When you look at the best places to live online, Bozeman always pops up. Second, this is a world class academic institution. And third, we offer a nationally-ranked football program that young men are able to grow with and thrive in."
The appreciation for the past, present and future of MSU football was ever present to fans who listened to Choate and Singleton on Wednesday evening. Following one of the most impressive seasons in MSU football history, the standards and expectations are as high as ever. It will take time and hard work, but this signee class of 2020 seems to have all the keys to take this program to the next level.